"Israel: NEW Perspectives" Top 5 Page for this destination Israel by gilabrand

Israel Travel Guide: 8,956 reviews and 26,661 photos

Making the years count

Israel is the world's 100th smallest country (around half the size of New Jersey) and home to less than 1/1000th of the world's population. It's only been around for 61 years. But as the English poet George Meredith once said: Don't just count your years. Make your years count.

Israel gets a lot of publicity for all the wrong reasons. Without denying the problems, here are some of the things that this little speck on the map has been doing to make its' years count.


The cell phone was developed by Israelis working for the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel. Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was probably made in Israel.

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the US, Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the US.

According to industry officials, Israel's flight security is the best in the world. America now looks to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.

Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel ranks 4th in the world in the number of scientific papers per capita. It also boasts one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has a larger number of startups than any other country in the world, except the US (3,500 companies, mostly hi-tech).

Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds, right behind the US.

Outside the US and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.

Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Twenty-four per cent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees -- ranking third in the industrialized world, after the US and Holland - and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.

When the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship -- and the highest rate among women and people over 55 - in the world.

Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.

Israel has the world's second highest per capita rate of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in the number of trees, all the more remarkable because it has been achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

And the list goes on...

Israel developed the first no-radiation diagnostic instruments for breast cancer.

An Israeli firm developed a computerized system for administration of medicince, minimizing human error.

Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible pill-size video camera that views the small intestine to diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.

Researchers in Israel developed a sensor device to help the heart pump blood, preventing heart failure.

The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is 18-20 feet tall and yields 38 pounds of dates a year. Israeli trees yield 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

A new Israeli acne treatment, ClearLight, produces a high-intensity blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct without damaging surrounding skin.

An Israeli firm was the first to develop a large-scale solar-powered electricity-generating plant, in California's Mojave desert.

Updates for 2008

* Israeli scientists found that the brackish water drilled from underground desert aquifers can be used to raise warm-water fish. Geothermal water, less saline than sea water, pollutant-free, 98 degrees on average, is an ideal environment.

* An Israeli start-up, Veterix, developed an electronic capsule that sits in the stomach of a cow, sheep, or goat, sending out data on the health of the herd to the farmer via Email or cell phone. It sends alerts if animals are distressed, injured, or lost.

*Beating cardiac tissue has been created from human embryonic stem cells at the Rappaport Medical Faculty and the Technion's biomedical Engineering faculty.

*Israel's Bio-Sense Technologies electronically analyzed 350 different dog barks. Finding that dogs of all breeds and sizes bark the same alarm when they sense a threat, the firm has designed the dog bark-reader, a sensor that can pick up a dog's alarm bark and alert human operators.

*An Israeli company, BioControl Medical, sold its first electrical stimulator to treat urinary incontinence to a US company for $50 Million. Now, it is working on CardioFit, which uses electrical nerve stimulation to treat congestive heart failure.

ALL THE ABOVE while fighting for survival, surrounded by countries that seek its destruction, with an economy strained by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth.
2002 NOBEL PRIZE: An Israeli professor of psychology, Daniel Kahneman, won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics for his work in prospect theory.

2004 NOBEL PRIZE: Two Israeli professors from the Technion in Haifa, Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko, were awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. They discovered a molecule called ubiquitin that marks unwanted proteins and sends a signal to the cell to destroy them. Their findings will help in developing drugs to fight cancer.

2005 NOBEL PRIZE: An Israeli professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Robert (Yisrael) Aumann, was named co-winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Economics, along with Thomas Schelling of the U.S. Aumann has paved the way for a better understanding of conflict and cooperation through game theory analysis.

2009 NOBEL PRIZE: An Israeli structural biologist from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Ada Yonath, was named co-winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, for her work on the structure and function of the ribosome. Yonath shares the prize with Britain's Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz of Yale University.

2011 NOBEL PRIZE An Israeli professor from the Technion in Haifa, Dan Schechtman, won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals. He was ridiculed by others in his field who said there was no such thing as quasi-crystals, there were only quasi-scientists.


  • Intro Updated Dec 11, 2011
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Reviews (47)

Comments (97)

  • katalin's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Great page, beautiful pictures, very informative!

  • babar_1's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Very nice discription and great reviews. greetings from Pakistan..!

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    A very informative page, I especially love reading custom tips, thanks for sharing :D

  • IngaA's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    I bookmarked this page, thanks for giving some valuable advices for my future trip to Israel

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    What a wonderful page Gila..Ill have to come back,there's so much interesting information here. I enjoyed more than a couple of snickers too..Loved your comment about the nice flowers for Mom collected from the funeral parlor!Ill be back!

  • bluesmama's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Hi Gila, about the babies on planes. I got a tip from a friend: Breastfeed the baby at take off and landing, apparently it helps even out the pressure in the baby's ear. :-)

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    Lol, was going to leave you a comment and noticed I already did a while ago...still want to visit Israel some day:)

  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2010 at 6:18 AM

    An incredibly useful page on Israel... thank you so much!!! This time in two weeks we will be there - we are so excited!!!

  • Robmj's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    Very informative page, thank you, I loved my trip to Israel

  • Nov 19, 2009 at 4:02 AM

    Jews are halachically forbidden to marry unless they meet and both agree to the marriage. Therefore the statement about meeting under the wedding canopy and only today having "some say in the matter" is untrue. We date until we feel ready


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